Each year, the alpine city of Annecy in the stunning Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps becomes the global centre of animated films for the much-anticipated International Animation Film Festival, drawing over 8000 industry professionals.
All the big names in the world of animation come together in a celebration of the industry, where festival-goers can marvel at the most recent animated masterpieces and even get to interact with filmmakers, producers and other creative forces.
Extending your stay in Annecy? Check out our guide to the highlights.
The Festival History
The Annecy festival dates back 50 years, but it has been in the 2000’s that it has truly flourished with the huge rise in popularity of animated movies. The festival began to see an enormous rise in their figures and huge names in the animation world began to participate; this includes the likes of Matt Groening, Tim Burton, Nick Park and Michael Ocelot. The previous two years, the festival has broken its own records in terms of festival-goers and movie submissions. This means that 2017’s festival is set to be the best ever, and one that any film or animation enthusiast will not want to miss!
This Year’s Event
This year, the festival received over a staggering 2,600 movies for consideration and they have now whittled it down to a 200 film shortlist. The award categories include Feature Films, Short Films, TV and Commissioned Films and Graduation Films, but there are a total of 28 awards up for grabs. This all means that you can expect an extremely varied and diverse selection to enjoy at the atmospheric screenings, which are held in 9 theatres and under the stars with 4 outdoor screens.
In addition to seeing the latest animation masterpieces in an incredible setting, the International Animation Film Festival also hosts a series of free exhibitions, Q&A sessions with directors, signing sessions, conferences, workshops and plenty more animation themed fun. This creates an amazing atmosphere around Annecy, where you are sure to be blown away by this very impressive industry.
This year is extra special as China will be the Guest Country; this means that there will be special tributes made to Chinese animation in the form of a major exhibition and a retrospective programme of 12 movies screened at the festival. For those unfamiliar, China is a pioneer in the animation world, so it will be fascinating to see past and present work and observe how their vision has influenced other countries.
The festival will be taking place between the 12th and 17th of June. It is free of charge and the open-air screenings, exhibitions, signing sessions and Festival boutique are open to all. To obtain tickets to screenings, you simply go to the ticket desk an hour before the film is scheduled to show. The programme will be available in May.
How to Get to Annecy
It is quick and easy to reach Annecy, so you should be able to find a suitable transport option. Perhaps the most popular method is to fly from London into Geneva (GVA) airport, as there are many nonstop flights from the major airlines and it is around a 90-minute flight. Annecy is then just 40 minutes away by road.
Alternatively, you could fly into Chambéry (CMF) with British Airways, which will take around a 100 minutes if flying from London. If you jump in a pre-booked Shuttle Direct transfer from the airport, you can enjoy the scenic route and arrive in the picturesque city of Annecy in around 35 minutes.
Where to Stay:
Imperial Palace – This regal 4-star hotel is perfectly situated on the edge of Lake Annecy, allowing you to enjoy stunning views each day from your room which includes a balcony, mini bar, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TV. The Imperial Palace has a fantastic onsite spa that has a sauna, ice fountain, swimming pool and private treatment rooms – ideal after a day of being on your feet at the festival! The traditional French restaurant on-site has a shaded balcony overlooking the lake and comes highly recommended – alternatively, there are a more casual restaurant, bar or lounge to enjoy.
Les Tresoms Lake and Spa Resort – A quirky 4-star hotel that offers sublime views over the lake, Les Tresoms Lake and Spa Resort is the perfect place for those who like to indulge in luxury. It features an outdoor pool, spa and wellness centre, which includes a hammam, whirlpool bath and treatment rooms. It also features spacious rooms, a gastronomic restaurant with views over the lake and a brasserie serving original cuisine. Wi-Fi is free of charge. Previous guests have spoken very highly of the friendly staff.
Les Loft d’Annecy – Le Loft d’Annecy is situated in the vibrant heart of the city. The airy and spacious apartment is air-conditioned and features a fantastic terrace where you can sit and soak up the atmosphere of the busy streets below. There is also a flat-screen TV, sauna, free Wi-Fi, an iPod docking station and dining and kitchen area, but you are also a short stroll from the restaurants, bars and cafes of Annecy. Many guests speak very highly of the central location and modern interior.
About Shuttle Direct:
As Europe’s most respected airport transfer provider, you know that you are in safe hands with Shuttle Direct. We provide fast, comfortable and affordable passage between airports, hotels, train stations and cruise terminals across the continent, including the French Alps.
Book with our easy to use online system today and leave the rest to the expert team.